At some points in your 9 month pregnancy, you may experience periods of aches and pains. One of the most common types of pain while pregnant is in the lower back. It is reported that as many as 80 percent of pregnant women will experience lower back at some point during their pregnancy.
Physical therapy is a proven treatment for low back pain. It works on improving posture, strengthening abdominal and lower back muscles, stretching any tight joints or muscles, and providing pain relief through massage. Most women who suffer from low back pain have decreased pain symptoms following physical therapy intervention.
But, does Physical Therapy work if you are pregnant? Is physical therapy effective for pregnant women who are experiencing low back pain? Which physical therapy treatments are considered safe to use during pregnancy to treat your back pain?
Yes. Physical therapy is a safe and effective treatment modality for pregnant women who are experiencing low back pain. A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy examined what treatments are most appropriate for pregnant women experiencing low back pain. The researchers analysed data from studies that included exercise, bracing, manual therapy, and a combination treatment approach. They found the most effective treatments for back pain during pregnancy were exercise and patient education about modifying activities and lifestyle to help decrease low back pain.
Here are some additional treatments that might help alleviate back pain experienced during pregnancy
- Manual therapy, such as joint mobilization or massage includes Spinal or pelvic joint mobilization or stabilization; Deep tissue mobilization to reduce muscular pain
- Bracing: Use of Braces for support of the lower back and abdomen
- A combination approach of various treatments including recommendations for sleep positions, recommendations for modifying daily activities, and exercises to help postural alignment and body balance, improve strength, mobility & flexibility.
- Heat or ice application
As an expert in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives, a physical therapist can evaluate and design a plan of care to meet your specific pregnancy needs. Your physical therapist will consider your medical history, your trimester, and your prior level of activity before preparing a detailed treatment plan.